Recently, researchers report that when a glass frog falls asleep, almost all of its red blood cells retreat into its liver.
They hide in the organ and allow the frog to achieve near invisibility while it rests. In addition to revealing another remarkable adaptation in nature, the discovery could lead to clues for how to prevent deadly blood clots.
About glass frogs
- At first glance, you might miss the glass frog of the Costa Rican rainforest.
- It is, as the name suggests, nearly transparent. Apart from a lime green smear across its back, its skin, muscle and other tissues are see-through.
- Then there are its tiny organs, which seem to float within this clear flesh, like a pale fruit cocktail in the weirdest Jell-O salad ever to grace a tree branch.
- As handy as translucence might be for evading predators, it is rare in animals that live on land.
- Their bodies are full of substances that light can’t penetrate, many of them essential for life.
- Glass frogs seem to have evolved see-through versions of some of these anatomical features, but they also have some tricks to hide lingering colors when they are at their most vulnerable.
- Glass frogs rely on hemoglobin, a colored protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen around the body.
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